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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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temporarily postponed to the post-war period because of the proposed
steps to bring responsible war criminals to public trial.
The sentence of ostracism was of specific importance. It was brought
into effect by the publication of the name of the accused in the official
secret press as one who had been excommunicated from the Polish nation.
It was, in a sense, the deprivation of chic rights without imprisonment.
It lead to an inevitable moral, social and political isolation of the man
concerned, resembling the anathema of the Middle Ages. Legally, the
passing of the sentence meant that, although the person condemned to
the sentence of ostracism did not suffer any punishment, apart from being
compromised so long as the German occupation continued, as soon as
Polish courts were again able to function in freedom, he would be handed
over to be dealt with under the normal criminal court procedure. Thus
from the legal aspect, a sentence of ostracism was understood to mean
that, on the ground of incontestable evidence against the accused person,
the State Authorities and public opinion held him in a condition of
permanent accusation.
The competence and powers of the c Directorate of Civil Resistance *
must be considered in the light of the tremendous moral discipline of the
Polish community and of the great national solidarity during this war.
Not one Pole occupying an important position, whether political,, social,
economic or moral, earned for himself the sentence of death. Every
known case concerned those people who were dangerous from the func-
tional, and not from the political aspect. They were petty provocateurs,
agents of the German police, and in the overwhelming majority, Volks-
deutsche, who, both during the days of Polish independence and in
war-time, had demonstrated the fact that they were Poles, concealing the
German origin which had led them to be long active against Poland for
the sake of Germany.
One may enquire how deeply these Underground Authorities penetrated
into the mass of the people ? And how far it was possible for the secret
administration and organs of the Government Delegate to function ?
The Underground Authorities themselves asked the same question and
various attempts were made to obtain an answer. The means employed
were simple enough. For instance, in 1941, the Government Pleni-
potentiary was experiencing a severe shortage of financial resources and>
as in the rising of 1863, a normal internal loan was issued. The principle
adopted was that each sum contributed to the Government Pleni-
potentiary Department was to be met at some date in the future from the
State Treasury, together with a normal rate of interest. Thus the loan
had a dual purpose; one, to raise finances^ and the second to discover
how far the people were ready to make sacrifices for what, after all, were
anonymous and personally unknown state authorities working under-
ground. This loan was raised several times.